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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Luxembourg

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Le Grand Guignol biography
LE GRAND GUIGNOL is a progressive-extreme-metal band formed in Luxembourg in 1996.

The band was first formed under the name VINDSVAL, under which they released a first demo in 1997. Their music was still mostly extreme/black metal at that time, even though their progressive/experimental inclinations were starting to show through.

According to the band's website, LE GRAND GUIGNOL "soon discovered their passion for outré compositions, preserving the harshness of extreme metal, yet adding wickedly catchy tunes, symptomizing in deep-felt emotions and thus creating gloomy atmospheres, which the band refers to as 'grotesque metal'".

Their first album with this approach was released in 1999. "Imperium Grotesque" was received with enthusiasm by the music world.

After years of live-performances, personnel change and dedicated studio-work, VINDSVAL decided to change thier name into the more musically-and-lyrically-coherent and more theatrical LE GRAND GUIGNOL, near the end of 2006. LE GRAND GUIGNOL means, literally, "the big buffoon". For a more historical understanding of the name, "The Grand Guignol" was a theatre (Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol) in Paris which, from 1897 to 1962, specialized in naturalistic horror shows, hence its name often used for graphic, amoral horror entertainment.

According to the band's website, "just like its namesake, LE GRAND GUIGNOL are ready to rise the curtain in order to let the public partake in their enrapturing tales of madness. Prepare for something different, something new, for a band which leaves the trodden paths in order to freely express their creative vision of heavy music. Eclecticism and excellence go hand in hand as they take the listener to a musical journey beyond belief."

The band released their debul album under this new name, "The Great Maddening", in 2007, to excellent reviews from the press and music world. Its mix of theatrical elements with metal and classical orchestration create an experience not unlike those lived in the theater after which the group is named.

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The Great Maddening, studio album (2007)

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Great MaddeningGreat Maddening
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LE GRAND GUIGNOL discography

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4.65 | 8 ratings
The Great Maddening

LE GRAND GUIGNOL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Great Maddening by GRAND GUIGNOL, LE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.65 | 8 ratings

The Great Maddening
Le Grand Guignol Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

5 stars "Le Grand Guignol" is the name of a famous theatre in Paris that is known for its grisly horror shows and also the name of this outstanding avant-garde metal band from the beautiful Luxembourg. In comparison to other avant-garde bands like Adversus, UneXpect or Spacemak3r, Le Grand Guignol is much easier to digest. They have many influences and a lot of creativity but the album sounds quite coherent from a musical and lyrical point of view. Musically, the band employs blackened symphonic metal in the key of Dimmu Borgir with some epic folk influences like Falkenbach and some gothic comedy sounds that remind of some soundtracks from several Tim Burton movies. I really like about this album that the band takes the precious time to focus on haunting melodies and atmospheres without any overambitious hurry. I would also like to point that the band sings not only in English but also in Latin and Luxembourgish in several tracks which gives this album an exotic and unique touch.

The topic of the madness is almost conceptual on this record and extremely well transmitted in the weird "Mens Insana In Corpore Insano" featuring samples of many creepy and mad voices that make me think of experimental gothic music or dark Japanese Animes and the haunting "Madness And Her Thousand Young" for which an eccentric video was produced. In those two essential tracks, the band employs more ideas than other do so in two albums but the whole thing is still mid paced and easy to follow.

Several shorter tracks, sometimes classic instrumental interludes like "Alsuntia", sometimes heavier stuff like "I, Who Brought Forth Myself" that varies between blackened folk metal, epic symphonic approaches and some great heavy metal riffs that could come right from Iron Maiden, give us a break from the longer masterpieces.

My absolute favourite track on this record is though the epic symphonic extreme metal anthem "Lucilinburhuc", a track performed in Luxembourgish which is a true rarity in the entire metal genre. The epic chorus reminds of Tyr or Ensiferum and just blows me away in this great homage to the band's home country.

In the end, we get almost one hour of diversified and atmospheric entertainment of the greatest kind from an exotic country. For those who like avant-garde metal or extreme symphonic metal with some folk passages, this album is undeniably a must have in your collection. For those who think that UneXpect and similar bands have a great potential but sound too fast and nervous, this album represents what you have always been looking for. Be sure to check this rare gem out soon.

Originally published on on September 14th of the year 2011.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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